Powder Alert! WA, OR, ID, UT, and Wyoming next week. Colorado wildcard with anyones guess who will get double digits this weekend.
I predicted significant snow for Wolf Creek (excess of 15 inches) but not the 3 feet they picked up in the past 2 days. It’s not surprising with SW winds, cold temperatures (They are often on the warmish side), and models that nailed the location of heaviest moisture. One big surprise this morning is Snowbasin at 13 inches where next door at Powder Mountain 8 inches. Snowbasin is favored with SW wind direction that also helped Deer Valley late yesterday. The winds have shifted to the NW which will favor spots south of Salt Lake and perhaps the Canyons (PCMR). The Cottonwoods are at 4-6 inches currently. The next 3 days looks very deep for the Cascades of Washington and Oregon with moderate snow likely over much of the Rockies and Panhandle. Heavier snow may be falling late this weekend into next week especially Idaho and the Tetons. Utah should continue to reap moderate rewards.
Short Term Forecast
Light snow is falling in Colorado currently with Steamboat picking up 3 inches last night mid mountain and 5-7 at the summit. Models are not impressing me too much for the 6-12 inches NWS has in the forecast for most mountains locations through Saturday morning. I believe its possible west or slightly south of Eagle County. Steamboat bears watching with perhaps 4-8 inches (Increasing late today) and further west towards Sunlight or Powderhorn. Powderhorn has been in the flow all week and should continue to score per our previous forecasts. Most mountains in Colorado will see persistent light to moderate snow before decreasing Saturday (3-6). Areas from Aspen to Crested Butte, including Monarch may see higher amounts. Powderhorn and areas north near Douglas Pass (Above Rifle) will see higher amounts. Watch the webcams this evening and choose wisely on Saturday morning. That chase may be 4-5 hours from Denver so be prepared to get up early.
In Utah the flow is NW which continues moderate snow for most mountains. The Cottonwoods should earn 4-8 inches by last chair today. Chase to Snowbasin this morning (13 fresh) and finish in the Cottonwoods for last chair (Little Cottonwood is favored over BCC with NW flow).
The Cascades nail 2 storms. Late Friday night and again early Sunday. Expect double digits at all ski areas in Oregon and Washington by 10AM Saturday (Might be shy on the AM snow report). Snow tapers Saturday late AM and increases again Sunday. The Sunday storm is more impressive and should contain convergence zones setting up over Stevens Pass into Monday. Moisture is light Monday in Washington, however cold air and convergence could nail a 3rd double digit day including terrain openings that were closed on Sunday. I would consider Stevens, or Alpental for Monday for that 3rd sneak up powder day. Heavy snow may still be falling in Oregon Monday. Oregon is a winner on the models so its possible 2-3 feet fall over Bachelor by Monday morning. This storm should be Oregon back on top of its game!
Moisture from the Cascades increases over Idaho on Sunday. The Panhandle should grab moderate snowfall (Favors areas just south of Interstate 90) with Schweitzer on the north end of the higher amounts (4-7). Areas south of Interstate 90 may see 12-15 inches by late Sunday night. Brundage should score late Sunday into Monday (10 plus). Sun Valley may also do well with this pattern. Most of that moisture flows into the Tetons with Monday and Tuesday powder days. I like the odds of Monday best for double digits.
Below: Total snowfall through Monday night favoring central Idaho and Wyoming early next week. Time stamp is Monday at 11AM
Below: Westerly or SW flow pushing into central and southern Idaho Monday morning. Image: Meteostar.
Utah will benefit with NW flow early next week with additional moderate snow. Conditions will continue to improve. Areas in Montana are on the eastern fringe of deepest moisture. Montana Snowbowl should score 7-10 inches Sunday/Monday with Whitefish not far behind (4-8).
The Pacific Northwest stays very active with storms likely Tuesday and again Thursday/Friday next week.
The Sierra should nab another 5-10 inches Monday/Tuesday favoring the northern areas. Models were hinting at a large storm for the end of next week but it may be fizzling? Its only 1 model run at this point. Long term into March looks more active but has low confidence.
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